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Interview with the Filmmakers

Harry Wiland and Dale Bell, executive producers of the documentary, EDENS LOST & FOUND have over 30 years of filmmaking experience. Individually they have won an Academy Award (Woodstock), five Emmys, one Peabody, two Christophers, two Cine Golden Eagles, four Childrens' Acts, among others.

We asked Harry and Dale why EDENS LOST & FOUND was so important for them — as filmmakers and citizens. Here's what they said:  

What inspired you to make this series?

"Andy Lipkis, founder and President of Tree People, inspired me.  We met walking our dogs early in the mornings. While our dogs played, Andy and I talked about why public television and other forms of media need to address compelling issues and encourage greater civic engagement. Andy asked whether our media model would work for a serious discussion of the importance of sustainable urban ecosystems.

'What's that?' I asked.

Andy described how urban environments are living ecosystems and their health directly impacts our overall quality of life. That got me thinking…

The more I delved into the issue the more I saw how important it was to inform communities across the country on what they can do to improve quality of life through urban forestry, green building practices, watershed management, public space, coastline and park restoration, and recycling. It seemed like a natural fit for public television and outreach."

-Harry Wiland

What is the most important thing you learned during the process?

"We learned that individuals and communities can make a difference. The challenge is in getting the word out about what is possible for people to do. We think EDENS LOST & FOUND offers solutions and examples of these possibilities throughout the country."

-Dale Bell

What impressed you about the people you met?

"We call these folks ‘extraordinary ordinary people.' These people get up every day, whether the camera is on them or not, and meet the difficult challenges of doing sustainable work in their communities — despite the fact that they never have enough funding or governmental support. They tilt against the windmills because they have the passion and vision to see what is possible. Their actions are inspiring to all of us."

-Harry Wiland

What do you hope your audience will learn from watching this series?

"We hope people will learn that change must happen on the individual and community level. We hope they learn that civic engagement is the lifeblood of thriving communities — and that the process is soul-satisfying and irresistible."

-Harry Wiland


Edens Lost & Found is produced by
Media & Policy Center Foundation
in association with Oregon Public Broadcasting
© 2007. All Rights Reserved. Published January 2, 2007
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